With its magnificent architecture, vast public gardens and wide boulevards, Vienna is a city of undeniable grandeur. But beyond the soaring royal residences and 5-star hotels, there’s a charming, everyday side to the Austrian capital. Take a luxury holiday to Vienna and you can experience everything this city has to offer – from its bustling cafés to its designer boutiques.
The historic heart of Vienna is its first district, the Innere Stadt or “Inner City”. This area is encircled by the Ringstrasse, a circular boulevard dotted with architectural wonders such as the Vienna State Opera House, and is the perfect place to begin your tour of beautiful Vienna. Sightsee from the comfort of the Vienna Ring Tram, or simply walk the streets marvelling at the palaces, parliamentary buildings, and well-kept public gardens.
Neighbouring Leopoldstadt, which is bound by the Danube and the Danube Canal, is a hotspot for chic coffee shops, modern restaurants, and large green areas. Here you’ll also find Prater, home to a historic amusement park with a famous Ferris wheel. For the best retail therapy head to the districts of Mariahilf and Neubau, which are divided by the Mariahiler Strasse, the city’s most popular shopping boulevard.
Neubau is also home to the MuseumsQuartier, a lovingly restored complex of baroque and modern buildings that houses the finest museums and galleries in the city. In Margareten – Vienna’s bohemian district and a hub for art and design – you can gawp at the beautiful architecture and browse for bargains at the city’s oldest market, Naschmarkt. Away from the bustling centre, Donauinsel (Danube Island) promises sunbathing, swimming, and boating.
The weather in Vienna is mild, only dipping below 10 degrees during the winter and early spring. July and August are particularly warm and dry, however, during these months many businesses close for the sommer pause (summer break).
Visit in late spring or early autumn and you can enjoy fine weather, lovely displays of floral blooms or autumnal leaves, and unfettered access to shops, restaurants, and attractions. To view the city under a sprinkling of snow – or to make use of the nearby ski resorts – visit in winter.
Vienna’s 5-star hotels are an excellent place to sample traditional local cuisine. Dine on open terraces overlooking the city and in sophisticated restaurants where the dishes offer a contemporary spin on Viennese staples. Away from your hotel, you’ll encounter excellent food on every street corner.
Grab a table at a local beisl – a traditional wood-panelled pub – and sample dishes such as wiener schnitzel and goulash. Wander through the food markets, relax in the comfort of the coffee houses, and enjoy cocktails and craft beers at the local bars.